The potential of forensics

Using IT in forensic science can help govt in cases like Panama Papers, NPAs and money laundering. Petrus Marais, global leader, forensic at KPMG talks about need of forensics for cyber security

pratap

Pratap Vikram Singh | June 29, 2016


#banks   #Petrus Marais   #banking   #money laundering   #Panama papers   #NPA   #cyber security   #KPMG   #forensics  
Petrus Marais, global leader, forensic at KPMG
Petrus Marais, global leader, forensic at KPMG

Using IT in forensic science is no longer restricted to the realm of sci-fi. It can help the government and agencies in cracking cases like those arising from the Panama Papers, rising NPAs of banks and money laundering. In an interaction with Pratap Vikram Singh, Petrus Marais of KPMG talks about the need of forensics with the increasing focus on cyber security.

Is there awareness in India about cyber forensics?

India, including the public and private sector, is clearly behind in being able to deal with the [cyber] threat. In the last one year, however, it has put forth some safeguards. [This is] primarily   [because they have faced] increased cyber attacks over the last two years, which has [left] a feeling of vulnerability. Of late, many corporates have reached out to us. 

Incidence prevention is a grave area. There is a huge demand for predicting a potential threat. There are a host of mechanisms to do that – social media monitoring, website monitoring, and passing a volume of traffic through certain detectors that is put on the web.

There has been an increasing demand from the clients to know whether they have been hacked, what the hackers have stolen, who the hacker is, etc.

What are your major interventions in this area?

It starts with conducting gap analysis and risk assessment for the client. We assist them in identifying what is their level of vulnerability, the level of sophistication of their internal systems in detecting, monitoring, and preventing an attack. It [cyber threat] is far more broad-reaching than people generally think. It goes right to the level of HR policies. A major risk emanates from prolonged access to IT systems of people who are leaving an organisation. Then there is technical threat – how difficult it is to breach [a system], how regular is penetration testing and so on. KPMG does penetration testing. We do white hat hacking because the client should be able to know how good their systems are. In industries where risk is bigger, the client needs to be encouraged to look at installation of certain specific monitoring devices that can pick up extensive analytics and trends in traffic that could be indicative of potential threat building.

Is revenue generation from forensics increasing?


It is not increasing as fast as we had thought. In certain jurisdictions, for example, the US, where the client’s sense of vulnerability is more – because of a number of hacking incidents that have happened including Ashley Madison [the extramarital affairs website was hacked and details of its over 32 million users were made public] and stringent personal information legislation – the growth has been big. In other markets – and I am sure India is pretty much the same – clients are relying on internal IT teams and solutions.

Our revenue growth is expected to spike within a year. Right now, we are investing a huge amount of time in education and awareness.

How can cyber forensics help in countering money laundering?

The underlying rationale for anti-money laundering has been to combat crime and terror financing. All this falls under the forensics domain. Historically, forensic service providers were anti-money laundering advisory providers to the banks.

Who are your customers for cyber anti-money laundering?

It is primarily banks.

Are payment wallets emerging as a new channel for money laundering?

The ticket size is small and is likely to stay that way. The KYC norms required for the payment wallet are still not sophisticated. But as those numbers are growing – and they are growing rapidly – I think they [regulators] are waking up to the fact that they need to put in a sophisticated mechanism as well. Think about the commercial rationale of payment wallet. It is to deal with the unbanked and informal hawala systems that are available globally. So if you are dealing with that clientele, you are also dealing with a substantial organised crime element. I believe that it is just a matter of time when a major money laundering scam gets exposed. You are dealing with higher volume and lower value offences when it comes to prostitution, street drugs, and human trafficking. Your players in that system at the various levels are not ‘C’ level executives. It is challenging for them to bank their money. That is why the wallet system is attractive to them as it is anonymous. You can transfer from anywhere in the world, whatever the case may be.


pratap@governancenow.com

(The interview appears in the June 16-30, 2016 issue)

Comments

 

Other News

Thackeray launches three fast-track DNA units under Nirbhaya scheme

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched three state-of-the-art human DNA units under the Nirbhaya Scheme for efficiency in criminal investigations. A wildlife DNA unit in Nagpur makes Maharashtra the country’s first state to have a forensic testing lab for animals.  

How foreign policy has been Modi’s focus right from the start

The Midway Battle: Modi’s Roller-coaster Second Term By Gautam Chintamani Bloomsbury / 400 pages / Rs 699 Gautam Chintamani, a film historian and author, has penned an in-depth chronicle of prime minister Narendra Modi’s second

Remove unauthorized constructions without pressure: Thackeray to BMC

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has instructed the Mumbai civic authorities to take immediate action on unauthorized constructions on war footing. In a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, Thackeray said no illegal construction will be tolerated in Mumbai and called upon the BMC to

Covid norms relaxed; Mumbai restaurants, shops to remain open longer

After extending timings of shops and restaurants as well as the reopening of cinema halls and theatres under specified SOPs from October 22, in view of the festive cheer, the Maharashtra government has allowed restaurants and eateries to remain open till 12AM and shops and establishments to function till 1

Global Hunger Index data collection flawed: Arvind Panagariya

Rubbishing the recently released Global Hunger Index 2021, wherein India has slipped to 101 position to be placed below Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Arvind Panagariya, professor of economics at Columbia University and former vice chairman, NITI Aayog, has said that data collection and methodologies used

‘Blue Zones’ concept of healthy living and its relevance in India

A long life span free from diseases and disability, the so-called healthy aging, has been a matter of prime interest to humanity. It is widely held that the life expectancy is a function of interplay between various genetic and environmental factors. There is scientific evidence to support the fact that on

Visionary Talk with Dr Arvind Panagariya, Professor, Columbia University & Former VC, NITI Aayog



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter